God’s true followers has a mark of distinction that sets them apart from others. Traditionally, this is the circumcision of males, which was originally a covenant between God and Abraham. “You shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you. He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised. Every male throughout your generations, whether born in your house or bought with your money from any foreigner who is not of your offspring, both he who is born in your house and he who is bought with your money, shall surely be circumcised. So shall my covenant be in your flesh an everlasting covenant. Any uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.” -Genesis 17:11-14. However, because of Israel’s disobedience, God requires His people, not only the physical marking of being in his covenant, but an obedience that comes from a sincere heart. “Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no longer stubborn.” -Deuteronomy 10:16.
It is the circumcision of the heart that matters to God. The physical circumcision is basically the removing of foreskin in the male reproductive organ. It has various benefit to health such as good hygiene and lesser risk to infection. For others, it is a religious rite, especially for Jewish people. Many cultures around the world follow this tradition or practice though others have their own choice and reason to not follow the practice of circumcision. In Bible times, circumcision is a mark of the covenant between God and His people. But it is not the physical circumision that matters most to God. It is the circumcision of the heart. God said to Israel, “Circumcise yourselves to the Lord; remove the foreskin of your hearts,” -Jeremiah 4:4. “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments and statutes of the Lord, which I am commanding you today for your good? Behold, to the Lord your God belong heaven and the heaven of heavens, the earth with all that is in it. Yet the Lord set his heart in love on your fathers and chose their offspring after them, you above all peoples, as you are this day. Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no longer stubborn. For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who is not partial and takes no bribe. – Deuteronomy 10:12-17. Circumcision of the heart is removing the stubborness that hinders us from drawing near to God and obeying Him with all our heart. It removes the covering in our heart and bares our heart to be real and sincere towards God. When our hearts are circumcised, we are able to love God with all of our soul, mind, and strength! This is the mark of God’s people. The heart is transformed and is filled with love for God and love for others. So as God’s children, we are to guard our heart. “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” -Proverbs 4:23. We should be careful of what we treasure in life. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” -Matthew 6:21. Our heart should only hold God and the things of God more valuable than anything else in this world.